This baked ziti is serious comfort food with a little healthy twist. As a kid, I loved baked ziti and that has not changed a bit – now I just add veggies! This recipe packs so many different veggies that all add lots of nutrients and flavor. For the meat-eaters out there, the ziti also incorporates some ground turkey for a punch of lean protein. If you’re not a meat-eater, don’t fret! You can easily replace the turkey with a vegetarian option, or just nix it altogether.
1-12oz bag of brown rice penne (or Banza chickpea pasta)
1-24oz jar marinara or tomato basil sauce (my favorite brands are Rao’s and Cucina Antica)
1 lb ground turkey
½ cauliflower head
3 white onions
2 green bell peppers
1 cup mushrooms
2 balls fresh mozzarella, shredded
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375⁰F.
- Cook the pasta according to directions, drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Chop all the vegetables and sauté in olive oil at medium-high heat until slightly browned and mostly cooked. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the sautéed veggies to the bowl with the pasta.
- In the same pan you used for the veggies, sauté the ground turkey with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Make sure to break the turkey up into small pieces and sauté until cooked through.
- Add the cooked turkey to the pasta and veggies. Add the marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella and mix until everything is evenly distributed.
- Scoop the mixture into a 9 x 12-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheddar evenly on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Broil for the last 5 minutes to brown the top, watching carefully to avoid burning it.